Selection process of sport tourism development strategy in Banja Vrućica SPA resort: A quantitative analysis
Author(s): Jerker Sandelin and Justus Fiechtner
Abstract: Tourism industry has been identified as one the largest and fastest-growing economic sectors in the world. This industry is often seen as one of the three branches with comparative advantages for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska’s economy. More specifically, Republika Srpska has an enormous capacity in the field of spa tourism. Putting the whole thing into a European context, we should be mindful of the dynamics of the market and its stiff competition. In order to retain the competitive edge, one should be readily aware of trends and market changes, waxing and waning as rapidly as the demands for luxury and add-on experiences among younger population of tourists. Since the Banja Vrućica spa resort is a top spa destination in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the aim of this work is to carry out a strategic analysis of the spa’s environment which might be beneficial for the spa’s management; all of this with regards to the selection of future strategy in sport tourism, because care for health and physical well-being have lately been in the focus of sport tourism consumers. The analysis of environment of sport tourism surrounding Banja Vrućica spa resort was carried out by means of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, Internal Factors Evaluation and External Factors Evaluation matrices, while the final results were presented in Internal-External Matrix and Strategic Position and Action Evaluation matrix diagrams, enabling easier visual comparison across the different sets of results. Quantitative Strategic Planning Matrix was applied at the very end of the study in order to determine the most appropriate strategy. The research findings have revealed that the internal situation in sport tourism in Banja Vrućica spa resort is poor (Internal Factors Evaluation Matrix 1.23), whereas a good potential has been noted in terms of meeting the opportunities provided by the external environment and in terms of defending its positions against the threats coming from external positions (External Factors Evaluation Matrix 3.05). Internal-External Matrix Plot clearly points into the direction of Hold and Maintain Strategy, while Strategic Position and Action Evaluation Matrix Plot indicate that Conservative (Weaknesses-Opportunities) Strategies should be opted for. The same has been noted with Quantitative Strategic Planning Matrix, since this Weaknesses- Opportunities strategy fared better (3.99) in comparison to Aggressive (Strengths-Opportunities) Strategies, which were found as alternative approach strategies in some other related studies as well.